Winter Ridge is a crime-thriller set in the fictitious English town of Blackrock. The film also serves as the feature-length directorial debut of British film director, Dom Lenoir.
The central plot revolves around a young detective who is torn apart after his wife ends up in a coma while tracking down a serial killer. The serial killer specifically targets vulnerable and elderly, with this particularly heinous and insidious motive setting the tone for how the film plays out.
One of Winter Ridge’s key strengths lies in the pacing of the film. Especially with crime dramas, if the pacing is too slow and filled with unnecessary plot points the film becomes unnecessarily convoluted; however if the story moves too quickly it doesn’t allow for the necessary nuances that are needed to make a complex, yet entertaining drama. Winter Ridge has a lovely blend of action, dialogue and suspense to keep viewers engaged throughout the with the story, even having all it’s key suspects very much in the picture until the final act.
Many of the films most touching moments are the scenes with Alan Ford (who plays pensioner, Dale Jacobs). His portrayal of a grandfather with Alzheimer’s was gripping and the film’s sub-plot highlighting support for those with Alzheimer’s was handled with the right duty and care that the topic warrants. Lead actor, Matt Hookings (who plays Detective Ryan Barnes), along with the supporting cast, are a well put together a mix of established industry heavyweights and new emerging actors.
As a relatively small budget independent feature, what the film may have lacked in the scale of its production, the team have made up for in location and shot selections. The result means we have a film that has some traditional elements of a British police procedural drama, but with elements of contemporary American crime thrillers thrown in for good measure.
If you like crime thrillers, this film is for you.
Our Rating: Fresh
Winter Ridge will be released in UK cinemas in September.